Behind the Scenes with Misala Handmade

If you adore handmade accessories and tend to smile like a Cheshire cat when confronted with extremely adorable creations, then our Behind the Scenes interview with Michelle from Misala Handmade is especially for you! I’ve had a design crush on Michelle’s work since the very early days of KID independent! Happy reading.

Misala Handmade Coin Purses, Wallets, Accessories

Misala Handmade is…

Hello! This is Michelle from Misala Handmade. I was raised in Hong Kong and never knew I had a talent in art before leaving the city in 2009. With a new life as an expat wife in Dubai I started making and selling a few bags on Etsy.

I knew nothing about selling online back then, but with my husband’s support and guidance, our business grew and we are now living in Taipei with both of us working full-time in our craft workshop! To date, the total number of bags I made by hand and sold were in the thousands, and my customers were from 46 countries (and counting!).

My artistic / educational background is…

I actually hadn’t had any formal training in design. Instead, I majored in engineering. This made my designs different from most other craft artists as I would focus a lot on the shapes, measurements and calculations.

Misala Handmade Coin Purses, Wallets, Accessories

Three things that make Misala Handmade unique are…

Unlike other crafts people who would normally start their business locally, we were highly international from the very beginning. This has to do with the fact that our friends are from all over the world, and the local demand for handmade crafty products were almost nonexistence in Dubai back in 2010 (but I heard that’s been rapidly changing, too!)

Our move from Dubai to Taipei last Summer was the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my life. My husband had to give up his very well-paid job to move into a city we had no prior connection with. The first few months were especially tough, but it turned out to be the right decision as we slowly build our network and get to know other owners of small crafty businesses. This is an amazing city for artists.

When I design my new creations I always look for unconventional ways to do something. Instead of following the well-ridden path, I’d prefer to go for the unexplored territories. I know this is putting more risk to my business as I may very well create something that people will not recognize, or have to take time to learn to use, but I prefer it over reinventing the wheel all the time!

Misala Handmade Coin Purses, Wallets, Accessories

When I grew up I wanted to be a…

It’s funny that I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up! I just wanted to be a teacher’s favorite and worked hard! Turned out it wasn’t very helpful when I came out of school.

The motto I live by is…

Patience! This is most frequently heard from the mouth of my husband.

If I could go back and give one piece of advice to my teenage self it would be…

Don’t waste your years in engineering!

My idea of complete happiness is…

Earning enough to buy the next sewing machine I put my eyes on!

The lead role in a movie about my life would be played by…

Keira Knightley! If she could be shortened to my size with theatre magic…

Misala Handmade Coin Purses, Wallets, Accessories

My secret talent is…

I am able to sing, but I’m tone deaf… does that count?

My go-to song for singing Karaoke is…

Last I heard… I wasn’t welcomed in the Karaoke room 🙁

My biggest weakness is…

The panic waking up from bed, finding that I forgot someone’s order…

Currently residing on my bedside table is…

The latest copy of Frankie magazine.

Misala Handmade Coin Purses, Wallets, Accessories

Thanks so much for sharing Michelle, it was a pleasure getting to know you better!

Divider


Share the love!

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>